Singapore: Singapore's DBS Bank has applied to open four more branches in India as part of its ongoing expansion plans in the South Asian market.

"We will set up the four branches as soon as we get approvals from the Reserve Bank of India," Sanjiv Bhasin, the General Manager & CEO for DBS Bank in India, said on Wednesday.

DBS Bank has been rapidly growing in the Indian market, with 12 branches across 12 cities, the latest being in Cuddalore, which was opened in January this year.

DBS operates 40 ATMs in 12 Indian cities.

Bhasin said it was a matter of getting approvals for the four branches, which would offer basic banking services within months.

The new branches would offer full banking services within a year, added Bhasin, anticipating a favourable approval response in the coming months.

DBS Bank has made one of the most aggressive banking expansions in the Indian market in recent years.

DBS Bank first entered India with a Mumbai branch in 1995 and added a Delhi branch in 2005, following which it launched a major expansion campaign.

DBS Bank has benefited from the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between Singapore and India and once the four branch approvals are received, it would pursue the 16-branch bank operations per country allowed on a reciprocal basis under the trade pact.

One-third of DBS Bank's operations in India is accounted for by exports and project financing, Bhasin said.

He expected DBS Bank to record strong growth between 30 per cent and 50 per cent this year in India, having had a healthy annuity contribution of over 50 per cent of total revenue for the past several years.

India has been the third largest revenue contributor to the DBS Group after Singapore and Hong Kong for the past few years, he said.

DBS Bank's Indian business, covering 12,000 customers and 700 employees, accounts for 8 per cent to 10 per cent of the total annual group revenue.
The strategic intent would be to continue growing the Indian business to be a significant contributor to the group revenue, said Bhasin.

The DBS Group's business diversification strategy is to have 40 per cent of the revenue from Singapore business, followed by 30 per cent from Greater China markets and 30 per cent from South Asian/South East Asian markets, led by India and Indonesia.